Aside from a company’s programs for disaster recovery and continuity, establishing a remote workforce has become the most plausible solution for businesses nowadays. As the economic struggle against the coronavirus outbreak continues, numerous companies choose either to close down or to adapt an unconventional working arrangement.
The suspension of normal onsite business operations has brought upon numerous struggles for both companies and employees across Australia. Although working from home may sound ideal for many, the reality may be quite different.
Entrepreneurs must ask themselves how prepared they are for such challenging times. How are they going to continue delivering the same quality of service in a consistent and accessible platform? How can they accommodate a secure networking solution for their remote workforce?
For organisations that say they can support home-based employees, their existing solutions may not work at all. Typically, IT solutions support limited personnel. Right now, companies are dealing with an entire workforce who need remote access to various corporate systems and toolsets for work.
Deploying personnel to work from home could be a bit problematic. For example, companies pre-configure corporate devices such as laptops to work onsite only. With remote work, companies may need to provide the logistics necessary, including pre-configured computers and access to a syndicated database. With such challenges, network security and device management may seem to become far more difficult.
Besides, work tools must also be accessible such as providing support on devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. The type and speed of internet connection must be put into consideration too.
Therefore, all these challenges would only add up to the issues faced by IT Helpdesk Support daily. If you are looking for ways to secure your remote workforce, the following three steps will be a massive help for you to switch operations successfully.
1. Consider Basic IT Requirements for Telecommuters
To begin with, think of providing access to work emails, teleconferencing software, file sharing apps, and other work-specific resources for your teleworkers. Enable access to Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, DocuSign, Hubspot, ZenDesk, and Google Apps via a secure capability cloud.
Also, make sure to pre-arrange all basic applications needed to perform work functions. Employees should have endpoint security and VPN access from their laptops. These laptops must have been pre-configured to provide secure connectivity to company headquarters via a private network.
On the other hand, a multi-factor authentication system should also be put into effect to prevent data leakage. With cybercriminals taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis, ensure the security of your network properties.
The multi-factor authentication system provides a secure authentication token to every user. Provided by company, these security tokens could either be a software or an actual device such as a key fob. Through a VPN connection or a secure private network, users must provide additional identity validation layer when logging into a corporate network.
2. Procure Logistics for Remote Workforce
Some teleworkers such as support technicians, executive management teams, emergency personnel, and system administrators need advance network access to company properties. It means these employees need access to sensitive and confidential corporate information, or perhaps, perform within various IT conditions.
Persistent network connectivity must be secured, such as pre-configured access points from a remote network to a company’s wireless network via a private tunnelling protocol. For added security, combine a desktop-based next-generation firewall (NGFW) to a wireless access point through advanced admission control methods, HTTP persistent connections, and a variety of security tools such as data loss prevention (DLP).
An IP Telephony or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system should provide a secure and cost-effective telecommunications alternative for the company. A variety of physical and software models are readily available for users to make inbound and outbound calls, and access voicemails, directory services, and call history.
3. Create a Secure and Manageable Control Centre
Lastly, construct a central access network server to ensure that the corporate network can handle the increased demand for remote access.
Connect a Central Authentication Service or single sign-on web protocol to an active directory service, lightweight directory access protocol, and the RADIUS server. It will enable the entire remote workforce to access corporate network security levels.
Through a device and user authentication system, a Central Authentication Service protocol should also support 509 certificate management, single sign-on software, and guest management systems.
On a different note, a next-generation firewall (NGFW) could also terminate VPN connections securely. It could even recognise and block malware and suspicious content within a sandbox testing environment.
An advanced perimeter security software can also perform an advanced security check on cleartext and encrypted data to eliminate malicious traffic and potential malware.
Encrypted Traffic Analysis, while an essential function, is an extremely processor-intensive task. Without high-performance network security processors, NGFW could impact work productivity due to a traffic bottleneck.
Entrepreneurs must have a scalable disaster recovery and business continuity program instilled within their contingency strategy.
Support your remote workforce without compromising corporate information and security by applying these solutions. Ensure access to critical corporate resources and adapt to personnel requirements from the start. Moreover, these solutions should be easily re-configurable and executable for operations to transition from onsite work to remote work quickly.